A few nights ago, we made a trip to Lowes. Or maybe it was Home Depot. It’s all a blur. We went to purchase a new lawnmower. Its predecessor had a broken axle and had to be put down. I wanted to shoot it, but apparently, that sort of thing is frowned upon in our community. I even called the police to confirm. They confirmed. Then they asked me a lot of questions. Finally, I asked them if the axle breaking could have been the result of foul play. They suggested I watch too many cop shows and referred me to a therapist.
I don’t even own a gun. I just wanted to know my rights as the owner of a mower that can no longer fulfill its intended purpose. I’m curious that way. Anyway, back to Lowes. My wife had thrown out a message on Facebook to anyone who had recently purchased a mower. Many people chimed in with suggestions. None of them got it right (more on that in a minute).
After some nodding at boxes and mumbling about speeds and engines and whatnot, I chose a mower. Then I gave the cashier my magic blue square of finance and they agreed that there was enough magic to cover the cost of the mower and the other items we bought. (cue the ominous music)
Of course, the whole time I’m wondering why the hell Roomba hasn’t invented a robot lawnmower. Turns out somebody did invent one! But did any of my wife’s Facebook friends mention it or tip me off? Of course not. Seems they’re all anti-robot. She should really consider who she hangs out with.
Me, I’m all for robots mowing the lawn, pulling the weeds, and watering the flowers. And if they could add a feature where the robot gardener yanks moles out of the ground and catapults them onto my neighbor’s rooftop, I would watch that for hours and hours. But alas our Lowes doesn’t stock robot mowers. And a few days later I learned that they are quite pricey. Yet, I want to be on record now as saying if they develop that mole feature, I’m selling a kidney to have one.
“And if they could add a feature where the robot gardener yanks moles out of the ground and catapults them onto my neighbor’s rooftop, I would watch that for hours and hours.“
On the way home, my wife asked me if I was happy with my new mower. In all these years of marriage, it might have been the strangest thing she’s ever asked me (not from her perspective of course). Why would I be happy? I just bought a chore. Or to be more specific, given the average lifespan of the North American Lawn Mower (Cuttimus Grassicus Motorificus), I just bought somewhere between 400 and 500 chores.
That’s the dirty secret of hardware stores. They sell you chores! You gladly give them your hard earned money in exchange for implied future work. Not work that THEY are going to do. Work YOU are going to do. And like most chore machines, you have to assemble it first (another chore) before you can do the chore it was intended to do!
It’s a never-ending cycle because inevitably, there will be some vital missing element that IS NOT INCLUDED (batteries, light bulbs, down rods). Of course, you would need an electron microscope to see “IS NOT INCLUDED” on the box while you’re actually in the store. So you take it home, figure out there is something missing, and you’re off to the chore store again to purchase another chore that will help you assemble the chore that will help you perform the next chore. It’s exhausting, and so was that long last sentence.
And now I’m off to assemble the chore machine —for our sophomore in high school. Take that Lowes!
Carry on, Citizens!
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